1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. Romans 5:1-2 (NASB)
The growing apostasy in the Church in our time is actually the culmination of decades of poor, man-centered doctrine within our churches and ministries coupled with relentless assaults of liberalism by unbelieving believers bent on remaking Christianity into a politically correct social institution. Those people behind this see Christianity as just another religion. Since these people have the appearance of godliness, but deny its power, their motives for this could not be to partake of what they are denying, therefore, we must assume that they see the fulfillment of their spiritual journey elsewhere. They refuse to say that Jesus is Lord in the context that we mean it. They may call Him Lord, but they are referring to another Jesus of their own making who is totally lined up with their spiritual agenda. Our enemy is working quite hard in attempting to discourage those of us who see the truth. Therefore, we must seek the one who is our only source of comfort; He can override the bleakness of this time in our hearts with His peace and joy.
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen begins with a quote from Justin Peters:
What happened at First Baptist Church Orlando the night of June 14 was the theological equivalent of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It was a day of infamy. It was the day that a flagship church of the Southern Baptist Convention, quite literally, sold its soul to the devil and “trampled under foot the Son of God.”
In this hard-hitting series, Ahlheim demonstrates that FBC Pastor David Uth is apostate. What egregious act did the pastor commit to bring this charge from Peters, Ahlheim and others? In part 2, Ahlheim reveals that the shepherd of the sheep invited “Pulse nightclub survivors, friends and relatives of those killed, and the ‘persecuted LGBTQ community’ at large to a prayer service. Pay particular attention to this point … he hosted a prayer service … not for them … but with them.”
An array of guest speakers – some pastors, others lay leaders – from Orlando area churches were invited to take turns at the pulpit of First Baptist Orlando to offer spiritual encouragement to the “LGBTQ community,” offer a (Gospel-void) message of hope, and to pray with them for healing, hope, and peace. And that they did, to a large audience gathered in FBC’s 4,500 seat main sanctuary, an audience comprised largely of members of that unregenerate “community.”
Justin Peters aptly noted that what Uth did in defiance to clear Scriptural commands, especially one that should be known and obeyed by a pastor of Uth’s prominence, was nothing less than “an absolute capitulation to today’s culture.”
With this background in mind, following is part 1 of Ahlheim’s piece.
According to The Daily Signal:
When most Americans consider the right to privacy they think about the privacy they enjoy in their homes and person. They don’t think about killing unborn children in the womb.
But that is not true of liberal activists. To them, the right to privacy is all about abortion because seemingly everything is about abortion on demand: a non-negotiable doctrine of the secular-political faith.
So it comes as no surprise that ThinkProgress’ Ian Millhiser sees Alliance Defending Freedom’s simultaneous defense of young boys’ and girls’ right to privacy in school showers and locker rooms and strong and unwavering opposition to abortion as hypocritical.
But he misses the mark completely.
Abigal Abrams of Time reports on CRISPR-Cas9 which is a “new method of genetic engineering that allows scientists to edit DNA with precision and relative ease.”
A group of Chinese scientists will be the first in the world to use the CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing technology on humns in a clinical trial set to begin next month.
The team plans to start by testing cells in people with lung cancer, the science journal Nature reported. The trial received approval from the ethical review board at Sichuan University’s West China Hospital in Chengdu on July 6.
CRISPR is a powerful technology that has the potential to change human lives by allowing scientists to remove or edit genetic mutations responsible for incurable diseases.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling. (Proverbs 16:18 NASB)
At the root of hypocrisy is pride the antithesis of humility, which is exemplified for us by Paul’s attitude to the Ephesian church in Ephesians 3:8. On the other hand, pride is absolutely never portrayed in the Bible in a positive way. Never is pride tolerated. Never is it praised as it is today. However, in the visible church in our time don’t we hear sermons and read teachings about “positive pride” and the building up of self or the searching inside to find the real “you” that God is deeply in love with and only wants you to find it so He can show you what a fantastic you that you really are? Well, I have a Greek word for that, σκύβαλον. In any case, let’s look at the Greek words in the New Testament translated as “pride,” “proud,” and “puffed up.”
Not surprisingly, Word of Faith prosperity teacher Jan Crouch, who started Trinity Broadcasting Network with husband Paul, had amassed a fortune. News reports reveal that Mrs. Crouch was worth $50 million at the time of her death in May. Now her Newport Beach house is on the market for $4.6 million. “Dubbed ‘Villa Cielo,’ the four-bedroom house sits on an ocean-view hilltop in guard-gated Harbor Ridge, and boasts Calacatta marble, two kitchens and a ‘secret room.'”
According to Orlando Sentinel, the Crouch’s theme park, Holy Land Experience, is “struggling with a sea of red ink in recent financial reports.” As a result, “hundreds of ornate couches, thrones, nativity statues, costumes — and even a Harley-Davidson motorcycle,” are up for sale. Moreover, the Crouch family are also in the process of closing gift stores in Tennessee and California.
An attorney for the network, John Casoria, said in an email that the not-for-profit companies have experienced a drop in revenue as TBN voluntarily ended the practice of live telethons to raise money in 2012.
“We have had to do some belt-tightening as well, which gives rise to the auctions and the closing of unprofitable gift stores,” Casoria wrote.
HT Apostasy Watch
During his speech on Wednesday night, Sen. Ted Cruz chose not to endorse Donald Trump for president and was booed by the crowd. This morning Cruz, who is a professing Christian, defended himself at a breakfast with Texas delegates. According to reports, he admitted that he still holds a grudge against Trump for “maligning” his wife and father. Fox News has the story:
Donald Trump mostly brushed off the furor over Ted Cruz’s non-endorsement speech Wednesday night, calling the snub “no big deal” even as the senator himself doubled down – though the Republican standard-bearer used the dispute to warn voters that if Democrats win in November, their justices “will destroy us all.”
Trump blasted out a pair of tweets responding to the Cruz speech backlash.
According to Christian News Network:
The California Board of Education has voted unanimously to comply with a state law requiring homosexuality to be incorporated into history and social studies lessons from the second grade and up.
In 2012, California lawmakers passed the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful (FAIR) Education Act, which requires the inclusion of “lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans” in history lessons, along with people groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, disabled persons and others.
Jeff Maples of Pulpit & Pen examines “Apostle” Bill Johnson of Bethel Church’s egregious heresy. According to Romans 16:17 believers are to “Mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ…” In light of his false teaching, Bill Johnson is to be marked and avoided.
But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. – 2 Peter 2:1
Recently, a member of our Facebook group alerted us to a review that she had written on Amazon about false teacher, Bill Johnson, to which he replied that he was “hurt” by her remarks.
The problem, however, is that we do know quite a bit about his relationship with Jesus. The Scriptures tell us that we will know false teachers by their fruits.
You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? – Matthew 7:16
So let’s examine some of Bill Johnson’s fruits, shall we?
Christian News Network reports:
The founder of “Muslims for Trump” delivered a prayer at the conclusion of the second day of the Republican National Convention on Tuesday, an inclusion that drew opposition from at least one member of the audience.
Sajid Tarar, a Baltimore-area resident who immigrated to the United States from Pakistan in the 1980’s, took the podium shortly before 11 p.m. local time to deliver the benediction.
27 Ποῦ οὖν ἡ καύχησις; ἐξεκλείσθη. διὰ ποίου νόμου; τῶν ἔργων; οὐχί, ἀλλὰ διὰ νόμου πίστεως. 28 λογιζόμεθα γὰρ δικαιοῦσθαι πίστει ἄνθρωπον χωρὶς ἔργων νόμου. 29 ἢ Ἰουδαίων ὁ θεὸς μόνον; οὐχὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν; ναὶ καὶ ἐθνῶν, 30 εἴπερ εἷς ὁ θεὸς ὃς δικαιώσει περιτομὴν ἐκ πίστεως καὶ ἀκροβυστίαν διὰ τῆς πίστεως. 31 νόμον οὖν καταργοῦμεν διὰ τῆς πίστεως; μὴ γένοιτο· ἀλλὰ νόμον ἱστάνομεν. (Romans 3:27-31 NA28)
27 Therefore, where is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of principle? Of works? No, but through a principle of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of the Jews only? Is he not the God of the Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcision by faith and the uncircumcision through faith. 31 Therefore, do we annul the Law through faith? May it never be! Rather, we confirm the Law. (Romans 3:27-31 translated from the NA28 Greek text)
As I translated Romans 3:27-31 I had to do some research on how others had rendered νόμου in v27, v28, and v31. The NASB renders it as “law” and “Law” meaning a principle in the v27, but then as the O.T. Law in v28 and v31. The ESV renders it as “law” in all four cases. As I looked at the context though I could see what Paul was saying very clearly in v27 in his rhetorical questions so I rendered νόμου, “nomou”, “principle, law, the Law” in v27 as “principle.”
Donald Trump’s pastor, Mark Burns, a Word of Faith prosperity preacher, is under fire for invoking blatantly partisan language. According to Relevant:
Last night’s Republican National Convention featured a lot of notable appearances throughout the evening (including speeches from Rudy Giuliani and Melania Trump), but one of the most talked-about moments came in the closing moments. Mark Burns, a televangelist and pastor of South Carolina’s Harvest Praise & Worship Center, was invited to the stage to deliver the benediction prayer. But, instead of the typical non-partisan prayers delivered at conventions, Burns ignited controversy by explicitly calling Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton “our enemy.” He said, “Republicans, we got to be united, because our enemy is not other Republicans—but is Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party.”
Christian News Network reports:
A number of YMCA locations in the Chicago area have been instructed to follow new guidelines that permit boys who identify as girls to use the girls’ locker room, and vice versa.
The Chicago Tribune reports that a mother at one of the locations recently approached staff after she saw a teenage boy using the girls’ locker room, but employees later learned that the teen identified as transgender and therefore his presence was permitted.
“From [the mother’s] perspective, there was a man in the locker room,” Rae Ulrich, senior vice president of marketing for the YMCA of Metro Chicago, told the outlet. “But there wasn’t. There was a transgender individual in the locker room.”
14 But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. 15 But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 16 For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:14-16 NASB)
In our continued look at the growing apostasy within evangelicalism, the more we dig, the more we are finding that those whom we have been suspecting of compromise for some time now, actually have been on that path longer than we suspected. I believe that we are just now discovering this for two reasons. No one was really looking in that direction and God is answering our prayers, opening the doors of information and showing us what has been obscured until now.
Lou Engle kissing the feet of a Pope Benedict appointee at Azusa Now event. (screenshot courtesy Herescope)
Wake up, brethren! Evangelicals are being lured into a web of deception by Church leaders we trust. Read the article we’re posting and you’ll find out who some of these people are.
They’re wolves! Run!!
For those who missed all the hype, on July 16 an event called Together 2016 was held at the Washington Mall. Thousands of professing Christians gathered together to pray for Jesus to “reset” the country and their lives. Sadly, attendees at the mall and on live stream were unaware that the event was rife with false teachers. They didn’t know that speakers and entertainers braved the blistering heat for one purpose: to reset the Reformation! What was the rallying cry? UNITE! With who? Our Catholic “brothers and sisters.”
In a piece over at Herescope, Gaylene Goodroad documents the NAR/dominionist’s plan to unite Protestants and Catholics. This is MUST READ for all serious Christians.
Fox News published AP’s heart-wrenching story:
Just days before he was shot and killed Sunday morning, a Baton Rouge police officer posted an emotional Facebook message saying he was “physically and emotionally” tired and expressing how difficult it was to be both a police officer and a black man, a friend said Sunday.
“I swear to God I love this city but I wonder if this city loves me,” Montrell Jackson wrote.
He said while in uniform he gets nasty looks and out of uniform some consider him a threat.
“I’ve experienced so much in my short life and these last 3 days have tested me to the core,” the posting read.
Christian News Network reports:
Six Planned Parenthood locations in Indiana will close by the end of the year due to declining business, most notably since women are obtaining contraceptives elsewhere and Pap smears do not need to be as frequent.
The International Business Journal reports that the organization believes the greatest factor in the decline for business is that the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommended in 2012 that women obtain Pap smears every three years instead of annually. It said that it used to conduct 60,000 Pap smears a year.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. (Ephesians 2:8-10 NASB)
In yesterday’s post, The Justification Controversy: A Guide for the Perplexed, we looked at an essay written a few years ago by John W. Robbins which dealt with the growing apostasy within the Reformed churches in the USA. He traced the root of that apostasy which he narrowed down to one controversy:
The justification controversy actually began 30 years ago in 1975, when students of Professor Norman Shepherd of Westminster Theological Seminary gave the wrong answers to questions posed by presbyteries examining them for ordination. When asked how a sinner is justified, the Westminster Seminary students answered: by faith and works.
Of course, this is not what true Reformed Theology teaches. This is not what we read in Ephesians 2:8-10 (above) either. Therefore, to hold to a theology of justification by faith and works those who do so are ignoring the clear teaching of scripture. What’s going on?
Bud Ahlheim of Pulpit & Pen offers his view of the big weekend event “Together 2016” that was put on by promoter Nick Hall and The Pulse. Sadly, Hall has chosen to follow in the footsteps of Purpose Driven Pope Rick Warren who is herding the sheep down a very dark path. Warren has been chided for failing to “properly assess the critical differences between biblical theology and Roman Catholic theology regarding the doctrine of salvation…” Evangelicals such as Warren, Hall and many other Church “leaders” who are going all out to unite with apostate Rome seem to have forgotten the many reasons for the Protestant Reformation. According to Matt Slick,”it was to combat the many false teachings that the Roman Catholic Church had adopted through the centuries.”
Now listen to Alheim spell out why he believes “Together 2016” was rife with apostasy:
“If you love Jesus, we’re on the same team” Southern Baptist pastor Rick Warren once chirped. But what about Roman Catholicism’s false teaching regarding salvation and devotion to Mary?
The heavily marketed, highly touted, and Scripture-denying “Together 2016” event was held on the National Mall in Washington, DC on Saturday, July 16. Thousands gathered on the mall and watched by live stream for the purported purpose to pray for Jesus to “reset” the country and their lives.
The stream of celebrity evangelical “leaders,” pastors and musicians across the stage was essentially a who’s who of heresy. For the discerning believer who may have tuned in, markedly absent from the frenzy was a sense of reverence for a Holy God to whom appeals were being made to “fix our problems.” Oh yeah, the real Gospel was conspicuously absent too.
Of course, the discerning believer will have recognized the real Jesus from the multitude of fictional ones being called upon from the stage’s center circle. The real Jesus would have not twisted Scripture to claim for America promises intended His chosen nation Israel. The real Jesus would not have bellowed out a repentance-free message of love, hope, and personal fulfillment. The real Jesus would not have jerked verses out of Scripture, encouraging listeners to name them and claim them for His, and their own, glory.
As I have shared in my posts here on this blog, God saw fit to mature me in Christ and open my spiritual eyes and heart to the truth of His Sovereignty in all things back in 2004-2005. It was during this time that I became what many flippantly call a ‘Calvinist.’ I prefer the term Reformation Theology. In any case, it was as I was growing up in the Doctrines of Grace that I also became an apologist for them through this ministry. That was eye-opening I must say. However, I digress. To be a good apologist I had to become more educated so I began buying and reading everything I could on these good doctrines. It was amazing. I found that I could base all of my discernment ministry within the bounds of Reformation Theology and address all heretical and apostate behavior within the visible church from a very solid, immovable base. I remember a conversation I had with a fellow ‘Calvinist’ at that time that it seemed that only the ‘Reformed’ believers seemed to be able to withstand the onslaught of Rick Warrenism, the Seeker Sensitive nonsense, and the New Evangelicalism circus. Sadly, it was also at that time that we discovered that that was not the case. There was very much wrong going on within Reformed churches that we were only becoming aware of such as the Federal Vision heresy. I tried to address it and found it so confusing and senseless that I could not fathom why anyone who was rooted and grounded in Christ and solid Reformed Theology could fall for something as absurd as that. None of my friends, some of them much more educated than me, could find the source either. I suggest that you read the following essay by John W. Robbins, which addresses this issue succinctly and traces all of it back to its source. – Mike Ratliff